Plains Farmers Recovering After Flooding

Dakota’s farmers are recovering after last year’s historic flooding, causing optimistic forecasts for the economic recovery across the northern Great Plains.

Last spring, heavy snowmelt and torrential rain led to massive flooding across the Great Plains, hitting North and South Dakota especially hard. With floodwaters swamping fields, farmers were unable to plant and harvest spring and summer crops, seriously damaging local economies across the state.

Many small Dakota towns reported that the ongoing oil boom was the only thing that allowed many businesses to remain open. Without local farmers spending and consuming, local economies were on life-support, hoping that the situation would turn around the following spring.

The weather forecast so far is promising. Without the heavy rains or massive snowmelt, and with a relatively mild winter, farmers are anticipating higher crop yields across the Dakotas. North Dakota’s durum wheat acres, for example, are expected to double this year, with the barley crop almost doubling as well. In South Dakota, corn crops are expected to reach record highs with farmers across the state hoping to take advantage of record prices nationwide.

According to local crop insurance managers, Dakotas farmers will plant and harvest higher than average yields. “This will be one of the lowest years in both states (for unseeded acres) — if not the lowest,” one insurance company stated.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer